“Every artist sees the world uniquely; every artist interprets the world they see differently. Each artist’s voice is theirs alone. I’ve always felt, looking at art on gallery walls, that it’s as if there are countless murmuring conversations going on, just out of earshot, between works and between artists. In the vaults of a great museum like the McMichael, you stumble on these kinds of silent conversations all the time, between disparate artworks sharing the storage racks coincidentally. This selection of works from the permanent collection takes these ‘conversations’ as its inspiration.”
Ian A.C. Dejardin, Executive Director
About the Exhibition
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection holds more than 7,000 works, ranging from Group of Seven masterpieces to humble items of furniture once in the possession of our founders, Robert and Signe McMichael; from famous artists’ materials and equipment to iconic archival photos and works on paper; from Franklin Carmichael’s well-used engraving tools to Frederick Varley’s woollen hat. A third of the collection is Indigenous, including historic cultural belongings and cutting-edge contemporary artworks. The McMichael’s mandate covers all the art of Canada, from coast to coast to coast, from early days to the present, and we aspire to reflect its full diversity.
This selection of works from our permanent collection aims to convey something of its current breadth, taking particular pleasure in placing apparently disparate works in creative conversation with one another. Featuring works by Kenojuak Ashevak, Rebecca Belmore, Edward Burtynsky, Franklin Carmichael, Emily Carr, Kim Dorland, Sorel Etrog, Paterson Ewen, Lawren Harris, Prudence Heward, Gershon Iskowitz, A.Y. Jackson, Cornelius Krieghoff, Jean Paul Lemieux, Arthur Lismer, An Te Liu, Zachari Logan, Helen McNicoll, David Ruben Piqtoukun, David Milne, Michael Snow, Tom Thomson and others.